The presidential candidates have begun reacting to the suicide bomber who killed 71 people, mostly women and children, in Lahore, Pakistan on Sunday.
The explosion occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-lqpbal park injuring as many as 300 others. Many of the wounded have undergone surgery, and officials have warned that the death toll may climb considerably.
John Kasich was the first of the remaining presidential candidates to condemn the attack as a “cowardly mass execution of innocent women and children.”
“Coming on the heels of the terrorist attacks in Belgium, it is further confirmation that radical terrorists are at war with our culture, our values on and our way of life,” Kasich said in a statement, referring to reports that the bombing targeted Christians in the area.
“This type of terrorism is an existential threat to all who share our values. It must be defeated.”
The Republican candidate continued by saying that Americans must “redouble our efforts with Pakistan” to eliminate terror networks.
“Let us remember the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers as we gather strength and resolve to defeat all who threaten our values.”
In addition to Kasich, Bernie Sanders was the only member of his party to respond to the suicide bombings.
"We are grieving today for the families affected by the deplorable attack in Lahore," Sanders said in a statement on Twitter. "No one should ever fear taking their children to a park."
Meanwhile, the Department of State condemned the attacks in Pakistan, a strategic ally to the US.
"The United States stands with the people and Government of Pakistan at this difficult hour," State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement.
"We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Lahore as they respond to and recover from this terrible tragedy.
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz did not immediately respond to The Independent's request for comment.
Update — March 27, 4:50pm ET: Donald Trump issued a statement saying "I alone can solve [terrorism]."
"Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women and children," Trump said on Twitter. "At least 67 dead, 400 injured. I alone can solve."
Update — 7:50pm ET: Ted Cruz said that the US should band with its allies to defeat terrorism.
“The evil that is radical Islamism struck in Pakistan today–the very day we celebrate the resurrection of the Prince of Peace–in a shocking display of savagery,” Cruz said in a statement. “Once again we are reminded there are no holidays from this enemy, and no one — not commuters going to work in Brussels, not mothers and children celebrating Easter in a park in Lahore–are immune from its wrath. We must redouble our resolve to band with friends and allies to defeat it. Our prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.”
Update — March 28, 12:30am ET: Hillary Clinton issued a statement condemning the "horrific" attack.
“My prayers are with the victims of the horrific Easter Day attack in Lahore,” Clinton said on Twitter. “Pakistan and all nations must confront and defeat terrorists.”Reuse content